Incoterms 2020 for Multimodal Transport

Multimodal Transport: Incoterms 2020 for freight and cargo

When arranging an international trade contract, buyers and sellers are advised to use Incoterms to establish the conditions of the transport. Multimodal incoterms are used when the cargo is transported by combined means between road, air, sea or rail freight. The general Incoterms for all modes of transport can be added to any domestic or international freight contract. Learn more about the multimodal Incoterms from 2020 and start shipping your freight efficiently and safely.

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What are the Incoterms 2020 for multimodal transport?

Out of the 11 Incoterms, there are 7 Incoterms that are used for all modes of cargo transport (multimodal) and 4 exclusively used for sea freight transport. The multimodal incoterms valid in 2022 are EXW, FCA, CPT, CIP, DAP, DDP and DPU, being that with the 2020 update some have suffered changes. For instance, DAT (Delivered at Terminal) became DPU (Delivered at Place Unloaded) for more accuracy.

We have prepared an overview of the multimodal and intermodal Incoterms with the essential information. We recommend you read our guides for more detailed information about the specific Incoterms for multimodal cargo.

MULTIMODAL INCOTERMS

Incoterms for multimodal transport: the list of updated shipping terms

The multimodal Incoterms can be used when the cargo is transported by road, air or rail, or by multiple modes of transport and types of vehicles. You can also use the multimodal Incoterms from 2020 when combining sea freight with at least one other means of transport.

Ex Works (EXW)

When shipping under this multimodal Incoterm, the seller is responsible for making the goods available and properly packed at the designated location. The buyer must clear the goods for export, arrange the loading, pickup and transport from that moment on, as well as distribution and customs.
More about EXW

Free Carrier (FCA)

This Incoterm for all modes of transport indicates that the seller is responsible for delivering and loading goods, already cleared for export, on the selected vehicle at their premises or an agreed location.
More about FCA

Carriage Paid To (CPT)

Under the CPT Incoterm for multimodal cargo, the seller delivers the goods to the carrier and is responsible for paying the freight charges to a previously designated location. The seller’s responsibility ends when the goods are passed on to the freight forwarder and from that moment on the buyer assumes all the risks.
More about CPT

Carriage and Insurance Paid To (CIP)

The conditions of the CIP Incoterm for multimodal freight are similar to CPT. The main difference is that the seller delivers the goods to a carrier and is responsible for paying the freight transport and insurance coverage.
More about CIP

Delivered at Place (DAP)

When shipping under this Incoterm for multimodal cargo, the seller is responsible for clearing, transporting and unloading the goods at the place of delivery. The seller assumes all costs and risks until the load reaches the delivery location. The buyer is responsible for paying import duties, unloading goods and last-mile logistics from the place of delivery.
More about DAP

Delivered Duty Paid (DDP)

When using this multimodal Incoterm, the seller is responsible for delivering the goods to the buyer, ready for unloading, with all the customs, taxes and import duties paid. The buyer is solely responsible for unloading the goods upon arrival.
More about DDP

Delivered Place Unloaded (DPU)

This multimodal Incoterm means that the goods are the seller’s responsibility until they are delivered to their address of destination. It is the seller’s responsibility to unload them. After that moment, the buyer is responsible for them.
More about DPU

How to use the multimodal Incoterms

The incoterms for multimodal transport are used to draft a trade contract and clarify the transport conditions. Before preparing the contract, the seller and buyer should agree on what multimodal incoterms will be used and which version to follow. You can learn more about how to use the multimodal Incoterms for your freight contract in our guide.
Learn how to use multimodal Incoterms

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FAQ – Incoterms for multimodal freight transport

What are the most common Incoterms for intermodal freight?
The most common Incoterms for intermodal freight are FCA, EXW and DDP. These multimodal Incoterms are advantageous for sellers and buyers. For example, EXW is useful for domestic deliveries and can be convenient for sellers that do not want to arrange the shipping. DDP is also a very popular multimodal Incoterm because the price the buyer pays includes transport, insurance, export and import clearance and taxes. If you want to organise a freight trade agreement and are unsure which multimodal Incoterms are better for you, read our complete guides for more information.
Can I use the multimodal Incoterms for containerised cargo?
Multimodal Incoterms can be used for any mode of transportation and type of cargo. For containerised cargo, it is advised to use the FCA Incoterm. This multimodal Incoterm from 2020 should be always used in place of FOB for every means of transport, even sea freight.
What Incoterms can be used for rail freight?
You can use all Incoterms for shipping by rail. CIP and FCA are some of the most common Incoterms for shipping by rail. FCA is useful when shipping containers by rail.